obligatory follow-up!

Sounds pretty good to me

I think the proper phrase is ‘creative differences’.  And it was an amicable parting of ways, at least from my perspective.

Whatever happens next with this short, I will not be involved and I wish this guy all the best.

When somebody uses phrases like “the script is very subtextual” and “the characters don’t mean what they said; you have to see the acting,” and “the jokes are just funny; they have nothing to do with anything so far,” I take that as a sign to go.

From my perspective, it might have helped if he had been a little more detailed when he said “this is what I want”, rather than “see what you can do with this”.  I suspect this probably happens a lot with professional writers.  A producer says “I want this!”, then follows it up with, “That’s not what I meant.”

Oh well. Live and learn.

-One of my New Year’s resolutions is to check out more screenwriting blogs. I have my usual suspects over there to the right, but there’s an extensive list at Go Into The Story (particularly the Friends column), and I’m going to see if there are any others worth my time.  Any suggestions?

Knowing when enough is enough

a difficult but necessary choice

I received the revised outline for the short on Christmas Day and have spent the past two days reviewing it.

My first response was “What the hell is he thinking?”  But I decided to cool my proverbial jets and gave it some time.  At least a day.  I looked it over again yesterday morning. I still don’t know what he’s thinking, but rather than get upset and try and tear him down, I thought it would be better to focus on the story.

So I went through the outline, scene by scene, scribbling down questions that each scene raised.  Why would the character do this?  Why does this happen?   Is this being set up to be paid off later? And so on and so on.

But as I read through, trying to figure things out, I also came to the conclusion that I may not be the writer this project needs.  As much as I’d love to see this develop into an actual film, I don’t know if it benefits either side for me to keep trying.

I think my ideas work, but it’s his film.  It’s frustrating to slave over a draft only to get “Not really what I had in mind” thirty minutes later.  This has happened twice, and I don’t know if a third try is worth it.

I gave him the option of going with another writer, but have yet to hear back. It’ll be interesting to see what happens.

I’ve never walked away from a project before, but sometimes you just have to.

Like wow, man

A purely internal and organic chemical reaction

Sometimes when you’re working on a story, you get into this groove or rhythm where everything seems to mesh together in just the right way that you experience what could possibly be described as the writer’s equivalent of a runner’s high.  Before you realize it, you’ve completed X pages and time has passed in the blink of an eye.

This is one of those good things about the writing process.  It really helps make up for the days where you get absolutely nothing done, or spend a lot of time accomplishing not much or something you’re not happy with.

Although I haven’t had a lot of time to write the past few days, when I have, the results have been quite exhilarating.

I’m inching my way through three separate storylines, each dancing around each other until they finally converge in one important story-changing moment.

It’s also forcing me to edit on the fly because my outline had a lot of scenes that went on longer than necessary, but as I work my way through the pages, I’m able to cut a lot of those down to scenes of 1-2 sentences, and maybe a line of dialogue.  And each one is pushing the story ahead.

So overall, lookin’ good.

-Movie of the Moment, Two-fer edition: SUPER 8 (2011). I made sure to watch this at night so it recreated the theatre atmosphere.  It helped. This was definitely a throwback to late 70s/early 80s Spielberg, and a lot of fun.  Nothing fancy; good solid storytelling.  It was also a refreshing change to have unknown actors in the kid roles, all of whom seemed well-suited to their characters.

Just two things I thought about during and after: 1. How were they able to drive off the military base? and 2. Why did the monster eat certain people but kidnap others?

I couldn’t help but wonder if this would have gotten made if JJ Abrams wasn’t involved.  I was also thinking if the monster was going to look like the one in CLOVERFIELD, albeit much smaller.

And…THE ADVENTURES OF TINTIN (2011). Also a Spielberg joint.  We introduced V to the Tintin books last summer and she loves ’em. The plots may be a little over her head, but she seems to get the gist of it.  She was quite psyched to see the movie.

Turns out she loved it.  I also enjoyed it, maybe not to the same extent, and thought the writing was well-done (which it should be, especially with Moffat and Wright as 2 of the 3 writers).  The action sequences were great and definitely kept things moving.  As always, I liked how it didn’t talk down to the audience.  The filmmakers assume you have a brain and can follow along with any hand-holding.

I didn’t have a problem with the motion-capture format, but wondered if this could have been done in the style of Herge’s art style.  Though the 3-D may have been harder to pull off.  It’ll be interesting to see if they move ahead with a sequel.

-Happy holidays to one and all.  Here’s to writing success for everybody in 2012.

*sigh* (rub temples)

How it feels

I’m starting to have some issues with this director, in that I’m making a serious effort to not go completely mental over this project.  He did not care for the latest draft of his short, claiming several reasons why.  I agree with maybe one of them, but seriously disagree with the others.

It’s not the story he wants, even after two attempts, so he’s going to take a crack at it this weekend. I’ll be interested to see the results.

At least one positive spin I can put on this experience so far is I’m fairly certain this is how things work for professional screenwriters, so in theory I’ll be a little more prepared for it if/when I encounter this sort of thing on a feature project.

Air! Stat!


Despite a busier-than-usual weekend, I managed to crank out a kinda-sorta decent revised outline.  It’s far from perfect, but hopefully the director will find it acceptable.  When your subconscious is screaming at you to wake up and get to work, you tend to listen.  Especially when you only have so much time to work with.

Sometimes a tight deadline can make you come up with things from completely out of nowhere.  For a while I thought I was stuck, but took a step back, considered “how about…?” and out it came. It’s nice when your brain cooperates.

-This is the director I wrote a 10-minute short for last year.  I got a pair of DVD copies of the finished film, but it’s also on YouTube here.  Overall, not too bad for a first produced effort.  Only problem is he cut out a key scene in the middle that really tied all the subplots together.  He included it on one of the discs; I’ll see if I can post the entire film in the Portfolio section.  Give it a look-see and let me know what you think; feedback is always welcome.

-I found another motivator to finish DREAMSHIP here.  The logline always seemed like it was almost perfect; this is the chance to make it so and see how the script fares.

-Movie of the Moment – WHO FRAMED ROGER RABBIT? (1988) This was playing at the movie theatre I worked in after graduating high school.  We were the only theatre playing it for what felt like the entire tri-county area, and had the crowds to show it.  I’ve seen this more times than just about any other movie that doesn’t involve Jedi Knights or flying DeLoreans and can jump right in to any spot in the dialogue and follow along.  Some of the luster and novelty has worn off, but it’s still a tight story and definitely told in an original way.  It’s also better enjoyed in a theatre, rather than at home.

K suggested V and I watch it.  One thing you should know about my child is that at the end of a busy day (i.e. school, or in this case day camp), she tends to slow down. Significantly.  Not to the point of actually falling asleep, but darned close.  She wasn’t as full of questions while we watched, but sometimes would ask why something was happening.  I don’t think she has a full understanding of what constitutes a traditional cartoon, so a lot of the jokes and gags went right over her head.  Maybe we’ll try again in a few years.